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Algoma Country Welcomes Snowmobilers For A Different Kind of Winter

• Credit: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler
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Algoma Country Welcomes Snowmobilers For A Different Kind of Winter

Riders Can Still Count on Major Snow, Primo Trails & Great Hospitality!

Disclaimer: The content of this article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time.

Located in Northern Ontario, Algoma Country is a vast territory of 28,000 square miles comprised of two unique snowmobiling areas, Algoma East and Algoma North. Come winter, all of Algoma Country turns snowy white and remains that way for a long season. That makes it a perfect and convenient winter destination enjoyed by thousands of riders.

Anchored by the TOP Trail D, Algoma Country’s 2,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails typically attract numerous American visitors through its international border at Sault Ste. Marie or its TOP Trail D107 border crossing on the ice bridge from Drummond Island, MI. to St. Joseph Island, ON. Many visiting snowmobilers from Southern Ontario have also discovered Algoma Country sledding and return to experience more each winter. However, for the foreseeable future of Winter 2021, the border is closed, and the new Stay At Home Order in effect until February 10 limits all but local travel away from your primary residence and outside of your public health region.

Photo: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Grooming Underway

So until February 10, this is the season for local riders, and after that, for all residents of the North, to discover all the snowmobiling adventures that Algoma Country can deliver. After all, the Government of Ontario has acknowledged that “trails servicing snowmobiles will be allowed to remain open,” so the 12 member clubs of the Algoma Sno-Plan Affiliation (OFSC District 13) can get grooming operations underway as and when weather conditions allow. This means that, with the cooperation of Old Man Winter, the Stay At Home Order shouldn’t be much of a setback for having Algoma Country trails ready for local riders and later, for all Northern Ontario residents. And both Algoma East and Algoma North trails should be primo for Southern Ontario riders whenever the Stay At Home Order ends.

Discover Algoma East

Photo: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Algoma East stretches east from Spanish and Elliot Lake to Echo Bay in the west. It takes in many vibrant communities along the North Channel of Lake Huron such as Blind River, Bruce Mines, and Thessalon, and includes the popular St Joseph Island. Algoma East trails connect to Algoma North, to the Sudbury area, and to Michigan.

Topography in Algoma East is authentic Canadian Shield terrain, with rugged, scenic, and breathtaking riding through old-growth forests and overlooking Lake Huron. Day riders can try the many loop options on offer from most communities along the North Channel. Or for a turn-key snow tour, check out either the 400-km North Shore Loop or the 230-km Island Gateway Loop.

Photo: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Algoma East Park ‘n’ Ride Locations for Day Riders

  • Blind River – Info Centre off Hwy 17
  • Bruce Mines – Arena on Hwy 638
  • Elliot Lake – clubhouse at TV tower hill
  • Iron Bridge – Arena on Hwy 17
  • St Joseph Island – Kent’s Corner - Sportsman Storage
  • Thessalon - Marina

Explore Algoma North

Photo: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Algoma North runs north from Sault Ste. Marie between the eastern shore of Lake Superior and Chapleau, including Searchmont, Wawa, Dubreuilville, and through Hornepayne to Hearst. Algoma North topography plateaus north of Searchmont, where trails become more wide-open, sweeping, and optimized for exciting high mileage days, especially from Wawa to Hearst. Algoma North snowmobile trails connect to Algoma East, to the Northern Corridor, and to Timmins area trails.

In Algoma North, snowmobilers can stage from Sault Ste. Marie for the new 169-km Soo Highlands Loop or the 1,300-km All The Way There Tour to Hearst. On route, they can discover Hornepayne’s 90-km Bobcat Loop or spend some time doing the 165-km Missinaibi Expedition Tour out of Hearst. Or turn west from Dubreuilville for a quick jaunt through White River to Marathon and Manitouwadge.

Photo: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Algoma North Park ‘n’ Ride Locations for Day Riders

  • Chapleau – Aux Trois Moulin – 154 Martel Street
  • Dubreuilville – 27 chemin du lac, 21 Pine Street
  • Marathon – Swipe, Pump & Go Gas Station
  • Sault Ste. Marie – Connor Rd (just past Rod & Gun Club), Strathclair Fields (corner of Second Line & Black Rd), Fairfield Inn & Suites (rear parking lot)
  • Wawa – Community Centre – 3 Chris Simon Drive
  • White River – Continental Motel

New Norm For Sledding

Regardless of what Algoma Country ride you choose, it’s a sure bet that this winter won’t be the same as usual. More local and regional riding than provincial exploration will be happening. You’re also going to get used to carrying more gas & oil, snacks, and personal necessities than previously. And our daily habit will become re-confirming trail availability and calling ahead to double-check on services. The same goes for checking with the Algoma Public Health Unit for the latest updates.

Meanwhile, when you do hits the trails for local day riding, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has issued a common-sense approach for this season called Ride Smart 2021. The idea is that Ride Smart should become part of our everyday riding behaviour, and that’s a good thing because it’s the only way to enjoy healthy and safe Algoma Country sledding this winter.

Photo: Craig Nicholson - The Intrepid Snowmobiler

Join Us This Winter

With this in mind, Algoma Country invites resident riders to become local tourists on their sleds this winter – and also extends a snowy welcome to visiting snowmobilers from across Northern Ontario after our shutdown ends. And when the time is right, we also look forward to hosting our many friends from Southern Ontario, while following all public health guidelines. After all, when it comes to Northern Ontario sledding, it doesn’t get any better than this – and there’s plenty more Algoma Country winter to enjoy in 2021!

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